The Cleveland Indians aren’t hitting very well.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Indians are batting .245 as a team. While that’s not the worst—the worst would be the Houston Astros .228 average—it’s not something Indians hitting coach Jon Nunnally should be putting on his resume should he be let go.

While watching the game last night, and listening to the play-by-play from Tom Hamilton on the radio, Hamilton noted Grady Sizemore’s swing had gotten longer in an effort to generate more power.

The reason to generate more power would be to hit more home runs. Since Sizemore’s only home run this season was wiped off the books due to a rainout, Sizemore currently has no home runs.

But Hamilton’s comment exposed the problem, that being Sizemore seems to be TRYING to hit home runs.

I’m not going to pretend to be an out-of-work hitting coach, or tell you I’m a guru on the art of hitting a baseball, but I do have a philosophy, and that philosophy is: HIT THE BALL!!

Sizemore currently is sitting just above the proverbial Mendoza line with a .208 BA as we head into Saturday night’s game versus the Baltimore Orioles. The only reason he’s hitting that high is he’s actually started getting a few more hits in the last two weeks that allowed his 0-4 Friday night to still keep him above .200.

But back on point, Sizemore should stop worrying about hitting home runs and start worrying about just getting hits.

Most knowledgeable baseball fans will tell you they’ll take a lineup that’s hitting an average of .340 with few home runs over a team that’s hitting .240 with two power-hitters getting all the home runs.

Getting men on base always is a good thing, and while I obviously have no idea what Fannelly is telling Sizemore (or the rest of the lineup) in the batting cages before the game, he should be stressing good contact and putting the ball in play—not home runs.

The Cleveland Indians only have hit 18 home runs as a team, so if Nunnally has been stressing the longball, he’s not doing a very good job of it.

The Indians aren’t a very good team this year, so this isn’t some kind of frustrated, “get your head out of your keisters” rant. It is a plea to the powers-that-be to keep things simple, and stress the basic art of just getting a hit.

There’s nothing wrong with smallball.

To invoke one of the game’s greats, Ty Cobb never was known as a big home run hitter. In fact, Cobb disdained guys who tried to always hit the ball over the fence, believing the proper way to play the game was a hit-and-run style.

While home runs are sexy and dramatic, Cobb wasn’t wrong. Getting baserunners and then moving them around the diamond is not only an effective way to score runs, it’s an effective way to wear down the pitcher and get into the opposing team’s bullpen.

No one is expecting miracles here, but it would be nice to see the Indians, Sizemore specifically, to start hitting closer to .300 than .200.

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